A Louisville, Kentucky, couple who suspected their son was using marijuana hired a private K9 unit to search the teen's room for drugs. The search uncovered something even more serious.
Michael Davis, who operates The Last Chance K9 Service outside of Louisville, said the couple called him to their house and told him they were worried about their son smoking joints, the Independent Journal reported on March 2. After searching the boy's bedroom with a drug-sniffing dog, he reportedly found four grams of heroin in a pair of tube socks.
Davis said his company's main purpose is to provide schools and other large organizations with dogs that have been trained to sniff out dangerous materials such as drugs and bombs.
However, groups like Davis's are increasingly being hired for a different reason – to help confirm parents' suspicions that their teenagers may be using drugs.
According to Davis, the search of the Louisville teen's room is just one of more than 50 searches of private residences that he's been called to do since his company opened for business in September 2015.
Davis said the searches he conducts in teens' homes are confidential, and their purpose is not to punish drug-using teens but to give their concerned parents a chance to get them help before they end up in jail.
He added that about 90 percent of the private searches he's been asked to do turned up narcotics, including cocaine, methamphetamine and heroin.
According to data published by the CDC, more than 8,200 people died from heroin use in 2013, nearly double the number of deaths in 2011. The data also shows that non-Hispanic White men between the ages of 18 and 25 are most at risk for heroin abuse.